Allow me to apologize at the outset, as a way of hopefully softening the anger with which this post is written. I am angry to the point of tears over the way the events surrounding World Vision played out last week. But yesterday the numbers finally came out that we all knew were coming, and yet none of us believed it could be so bad:
10,000 child sponsorships were dropped in two days after the announcement that World Vision would hire gay, legally-married Christians, in an effort to defer to denominations for doctrine issues and focus on serving the poor. 10,000 children were no longer sponsored.
TEN %#@ING THOUSAND.
10,000 children in poverty were held as hostages in a debate over doctrine. And they won.
Wait. I’m sorry. “Hostages” actually fails as a metaphor, because of the ten thousand who canceled their sponsorships, an appallingly small number returned to them after the decision was reversed. You know, like when someone holds somebody for ransom in a crime drama, and then kills them anyway after getting what they want. Except, in real life, with poor kids.
Never have I felt so ashamed to be a Christian.
And yet, being upset isn’t good enough. Writing a blog post isn’t good enough. Sharing Rachel Held Evans or Sojourner’s or whoever’s article about in on Facebook to express which “side” of Christianity you are on is not good enough.
Because the only reason that those 10,000 dropped sponsorships caused a reversal is because there weren’t 10,000 Christians on the right side of justice willing to put their money where their bleeding heart is.
We were too busy blogging about it.
Ultimately, we all failed, conservative and liberal; old-fashioned and progressive; young and old; evangelical and post-evangelical. We all failed. We did a bad thing, and then we shamed each other for doing the bad thing instead of doing the right thing. They will know we are Christians by our love… not by our right doctrine… but not by our well-timed Facebook post of our go-to progressive Christian blogger, either.
Shame on us for using children as collateral. Shame on us for allowing hatred to outweigh our compassion.
Shame on us for being “all talk”. Shame on us for thinking that separating ourselves from those who did wrong is the same as doing what is right.
Shame on us for dropping 10,000 kids. Shame on the rest of us for not sponsoring 20,000 the next day.
Shame on us for casting doubt on the phrase “love conquers all”. Love lost last week.
God help us.